NAGPUR: The District Consumer Forum has directed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to pay Rs 12,000, Rs 10,000 as compensation and Rs 2000 as expenses, for deficiency in services and arbitrarily disconnecting services to a subscriber.
BSNL subscriber Pradeep Banubakode, a retired government servant who was using BSNL's Maharashtra-Goa unlimited plan for Rs 180 plus Rs 149 per month since 2007, had approached BSNL on December 22, 2009 for shifting of landline telephone connection to a new address. However, instead of shifting connection to a new address, BSNL disconnected the services arbitrarily but continued sending Banubakode the bills.
A perturbed Banubakode then moved Right to Information Act ( RTI) to get information about the status of his application. The department immediately swung into action and new connection with new plan was given to him. The senior citizen, who earlier had a facility of making free calls from his landline to other landline connections, was shocked to get a new connection with a new plan which offered no facility.
This forced Banubakode to approach the consumer forum wherein BSNL put up its stand that dispute must be sent to arbitrator as per section 7-B of Indian Telegraph Act and relied on a judgment by Supreme Court in a case involving general manager Telecom Vs M Krishnan case. However, the consumer forum rejected the argument and said that as per section 3 of Consumer Protection Act, consumer is liable for special remedy. Similarly, forum also held that BSNL, in its circular dated October 10, 2009, had stated that after formation of BSNL the arbitrators were not appointed because department of Telecom does not give any services to subscribers and BSNL is not covered by Telegraph Authority.
The forum, headed by Vijaysingh Rane and member Naresh Bansod, in its judgment held that BSNL's action to disconnect services and change the plan without the subscriber's consent was arbitrary. BSNL was directed to pay Pradeep Banubakode a compensation of Rs 12,000.
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/BSNL-fined-for-arbitrarily-snapping-services/articleshow/12551721.cms